Your four-legged friend is your best friend and confidant. You want him to enjoy life to the fullest, and that includes letting him explore the world outside of his backyard or neighborhood. Heading out for hikes in the wilderness, swimming at the beach, playing with other furry friends at dog parks, and visiting other human companions – or even just enjoying a ride in the car with the wind blowing through his ears; there’s so much for your pup to see and do.
Taking a dog out and about can be stressful, both for pet parents and their canine companions. However, with the right car, you and your pooch can drive in safety, comfort, and style.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Dog-Friendly Ride
When you’re shopping for a dog-friendly car, there are a number of factors that you should take into consideration. First and foremost, you should rule out a sedan; an SUV, crossover, or a truck is the ideal option for transporting a dog. With that said, the following elements should be high on your list of priorities when you’re shopping for a car that can comfortably – and safely – accommodate your pooch:
Space. You definitely need to make sure that the vehicle you choose has enough space for your dog; he should be able to sit, stand up, turn around, and lie down, either in the back seat or the cargo area of the car area. You’ll also need to make sure that there’s enough space for you, your passengers, and any cargo you’re going to be carrying.
Security. Safety is paramount. In order to keep your pup secure, the vehicle needs to be able to accommodate a harness or a crate. Child safety locks and windows are also a good idea.
Height. The vehicle shouldn’t be too high off the ground, as your pup may have a hard time entering and exiting.
Smooth ride. To minimize the risk of canine car sickness, opt for a car that has good suspension and offers a smooth ride.
Our Top 5 Cars for New Dog Owners
Taking the above-mentioned factors in mind, we searched the market for cars that meet all of these requirements. We found lots of great vehicles, and the following five top the list of options.
With tons of space in the back seat and the cargo area, the Jeep Cherokee is a great pick for dog owners. It can also handle off-roading with ease, so if you’re planning hitting the road less traveled with your pooch, you’ll have no problem getting there in a Cherokee. This SUV also has great suspension, giving it a smooth ride, and is loaded with safety features.
Subaru’s are consistently receive high safety ratings, so you can have peace of mind knowing that you and your pooch will be safe and secure while riding in this SVU. It also super spacious in the back seat and cargo area and can easily accommodate a dog harness and/or crate. While it sits higher than a sedan, it isn’t exceptionally high off the ground, so your dog shouldn’t have trouble getting in and out. There are also tons of safety features, such as the Driver Focus Distraction Mitigation System, so you can be sure that you and your pooch will be secure while you’re on the open road.
The CR-V has been around for more than 20 years, and it still remains one of the top crossover SUVs. Spaciousness abounds in the cargo area and the backseat, so Fido should have no trouble moving about; it can also easily accommodate safety features for your pooch, such as a harness or crate. There are lots of handy storage areas throughout the cabin, so you can keep things like treats, water, and close at hand. It may not be as rugged as the Cherokee or the Forester, but it can certainly handle slightly rugged terrains (think sandy paths) without issue.
If you need space for your dog and kiddos, the Chrysler Pacifica offers plenty of space for every member of your family – including the furriest one. The Stow ‘n Go seats are perfect for a pup, as you can fold down and store both the second and third row of seats right into the floor, giving you plenty of space for a crate anywhere in the passenger area. There’s even a Stow ‘n Vac system, so you can easily contain pet hair.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, safe, and spacious vehicle, the Kia Soul is a great choice. The boxy design is eye-catching and affords plenty of room in the back and the cargo area for your pup’s kennel. This car can’t really tackle rocky terrains, but it definitely offers a smooth ride on the open road. It’s also loaded with safety features that will keep you and your passengers – including your canine companion – safe and secure.